- to spend some time in a place, in a situation, with a person or group, etc.: He stayed in the army for ten years.
- to continue to be as specified, as to condition or state: to stay clean.
- to hold out or endure, as in a contest or task (followed by with or at): Please stay with the project as long as you can.
- to keep up, as with a competitor (followed by with).
- Poker. to continue in a hand by matching an ante, bet, or raise.
- to stop or halt.
- to pause or wait, as for a moment, before proceeding or continuing; linger or tarry.
- Archaic. to cease or desist.
- Archaic. to stand firm.
- to stop or halt.
- to hold back, detain, or restrain, as from going further.
- to suspend or delay (actions, proceedings, etc.).
- to appease or satisfy temporarily the cravings of (the stomach, appetite, etc.).
- to remain through or during (a period of time): We stayed two days in San Francisco.
- to remain to the end of; remain beyond (usually followed by out).
- Archaic. to await.
- the act of stopping or being stopped.
- a stop, halt, or pause; a standstill.
- a sojourn or temporary residence: a week's stay in Miami.
- Law. a stoppage or arrest of action; suspension of a judicial proceeding: The governor granted a stay of execution.
- Informal. staying power; endurance.
- stay the course, to persevere; endure to completion.
Origin of stay1
- something used to support or steady a thing; prop; brace.
- a flat strip of steel, plastic, etc., used especially for stiffening corsets, collars, etc.
- a long rod running between opposite walls, heads or sides of a furnace, boiler, tank, or the like, to strengthen them against internal pressures.
- stays, Chiefly British. a corset.
- to support, prop, or hold up (sometimes followed by up).
- to sustain or strengthen mentally or spiritually.
- to rest on (something, as a foundation or base) for support.
- to cause something to become fixed or to rest on (a support, foundation, base, etc.)
Origin of stay2
- any of various strong ropes or wires for steadying masts, funnels, etc.
- to support or secure with a stay or stays: to stay a mast.
- to put (a ship) on the other tack.
- (of a ship) to change to the other tack.
- in stays, (of a fore-and-aft-rigged vessel) heading into the wind with sails shaking, as in coming about.
Origin of stay3
Examples from the Web for stay
Models in Israel will have to maintain a BMI of 18.5 or higher if they want to stay employed.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
Ney said McDonnell needs to “keep a stiff lip” and stay in close contact with family members.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv
Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich
January 7, 2015
Higher courts, including the Supreme Court had refused to intercede, and the stay was to expire tonight.The Back Alley, Low Blow-Ridden Fight to Stop Gay Marriage in Florida Is Finally Over
January 5, 2015
“Stay in formation,” a sergeant from the ceremonial unit said over a public address system to the cops along the street.Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
Critics accused Foster of giving Duke a payoff to stay out of the race; that was never proven.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
I'm going back there, and get things in action, and I'm going to stay by them.
“We would not stay here if you paid us for it,” returned Stephen.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
I'm going to stay to dinner with you, and you must give me something better than that.
Charmed, old man; deuced pally of you to stay by us down in that hole, you know.
Robert was nothing loth to stay, and resumed his place on the grass.
- (intr) to continue or remain in a certain place, position, etcto stay outside
- (copula) to continue to be; remainto stay awake
- (intr often foll by at) to reside temporarily, esp as a guestto stay at a hotel
- (tr) to remain for a specified periodto stay the weekend
- (intr) Scot and Southern African to reside permanently or habitually; live
- archaic to stop or cause to stop
- (intr) to wait, pause, or tarry
- (tr) to delay or hinder
- to discontinue or suspend (a judicial proceeding)
- to hold in abeyance or restrain from enforcing (an order, decree, etc)
- to endure (something testing or difficult, such as a race)a horse that stays the course
- (intr; usually foll by with) to keep pace (with a competitor in a race, etc)
- (intr) poker to raise one's stakes enough to stay in a round
- (tr) to hold back or restrainto stay one's anger
- (tr) to satisfy or appease (an appetite, etc) temporarily
- (tr) archaic to quell or suppress
- (intr) archaic to stand firm
- stay put See put (def. 18)
- the act of staying or sojourning in a place or the period during which one stays
- the act of stopping or restraining or state of being stopped, etc
- the suspension of a judicial proceeding, etcstay of execution
- anything that supports or steadies, such as a prop or buttress
- a thin strip of metal, plastic, bone, etc, used to stiffen corsets, etc
- (often foll by up) to prop or hold
- (often foll by up) to comfort or sustain
- (foll by on or upon) to cause to rely or depend
Word Origin and History for stay
"to remain," mid-15c., from Middle French estai-, stem of ester "to stay or stand," from Old French, from Latin stare "to stand" (cf. Italian stare, Spanish estar "to stand, to be"), from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Originally "come to a halt;" sense of "remain" is first recorded 1570s.
Noun senses of "appliance for stopping," "period of remaining in a place," and (judicial) "suspension of proceeding" all developed 1525-1550. Stay-at-home (adj.) is from 1806. Stay put is first recorded 1843, American English. "To stay put is to keep still, remain in order. A vulgar expression" [Bartlett]. Phrase stay the course is originally (1885) in reference to horses holding out till the end of a race.
"support, prop, brace," 1510s, from Middle French estaie "piece of wood used as a support," perhaps from Frankish *staka "support," from Proto-Germanic *stagaz (cf. Middle Dutch stake "stick," Old English steli "steel" stæg "rope used to support a mast"), from PIE *stak- (see stay (n.2)). If not, then from the root of stay (v.). Stays "laced underbodice" is attested from c.1600.
"strong rope which supports a ship's mast," from Old English stæg, from Proto-Germanic *stagan (cf. Dutch stag, Low German stach, German Stag, Old Norse stag), from PIE *stak-, ultimately an extended form of root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). The verb meaning "secure or steady with stays" is first recorded 1620s.
Idioms and Phrases with stay
In addition to the idioms beginning with stay
- staying power
- stay over
- stay put
- stay the course
- stay with
- here to stay
- (stay) in touch
- (stay on one's) right side
- should have stood (stayed) in bed
- stick (stay) with